Author of the suspenseful, paranormal romances in my Stranger Creatures series. Also writing poetry, science fiction, and fiction. Sharing info about new book releases by different authors, poems, contests, and more
It seems that construction of new neighborhoods, mini malls, and businesses never ends. Any square inch of trees and green gets bulldozed and the displaced animals get blamed for being animals, for wanting food and wanting to survive.
Women and girls (all women and girls) should be safer than we are. We should have bodily autonomy, the right to choose, and the right to walk freely without being harassed. Instead, it seems, we have a lot of work to do, but we’re up for the challenge. We will not acquiesce to over-reaching authority, and we will not comply with the politicians and laws that press us to accept a continuous lack of equality.
AJ is convinced Ellie is his mate, but a secret could ruin everything.
She had every reason to hate him
Aiden “AJ” Shepherd’s mistake during a Shifter Army Enforcement rescue mission cost Ellie Ortiz’s brother, Marco, his life. She hates AJ with a passion until a chance encounter with him on New Year’s Eve reveals he’s not the cold, heartless man she once thought him to be. Her attraction to him takes her by surprise and she vows to ignore her feelings. When a new job puts her in contact with him every day, the heat building between them threatens to flare out of control. Her resolve to keep the sweet, sexy man in the friend zone is weakening by the day.
His secret could ruin everything
During a disastrous assignment with Shifters United, AJ uncovers some information that changes everything. Keeping the truth hidden from Ellie is killing him but he might lose her forever if he tells her what he learned on his mission. When Ellie ends up in danger, AJ will stop at nothing to save her. To survive, they’ll have to work together to stop a reporter who is determined to prove the existence of shifters.
Ellie stirred at the feeling of strong hands under her back. AJ gently picked her up off the sofa.
“Sorry. You were sleeping so soundly, I didn’t want to wake you.”
She accidentally gave a little sigh at the sound of the growly bass of his voice.
“I’m gonna put you in the bedroom and I’ll take the sofa.”
“Okay,” she murmured. She must have fallen asleep before the movie ended. The warmth of his arms encased her, and she was so tired, she gave in to the urge to snuggle into his embrace as he carried her down the hallway. He laid her down on the bed then covered her up in blankets. He paused, stroked a hand down her cheek, then abruptly backed away from her.
“Night, Elena. I’m glad I ran into you today.”
“You can call me Ellie.”
“Ellie.” He spoke her name softly, almost reverently.
She closed her eyes against the desire to sit up and kiss him, to see if he tasted as good as he smelled. If she’d met him in another lifetime or in a parallel universe, then she would have guided his head down so she could taste his lips. Instead, she murmured, “See you in the morning,” and pulled up the covers.
Inspiration for Bear’s Dream (Haven Forest Resort book 1):
Aiden “AJ” Shepherd and his brother Greg were both a small part of Bear’s Edge (Stranger Creatures book 2) and the characters stayed on my mind. Eventually I decided that the Shepherd brothers needed their own series, so I had the brothers open up a shifter resort in the Haven Forest Resort series.
Check out the library scene in Bear’s Dream!
One of my favorite parts to write in the story was when AJ and Ellie escape captivity and seek sanctuary in a small library. Libraries have always seemed to be so much more than just a place with books to borrow. Libraries are safe places. They are places to let the imagination run free. Within the buildings full of books and helpful librarians, there are computers, connections to jobs, lifelines to help, opportunities for learning, and endless wonderful possibilities.
What’s next in the Haven Forest Resort series:
I am working on book 2 in the Haven Forest Resort series. This story will feature Rob, the leopard shifter Head of Security at the resort who had a small part in book 1. I will also be working on completing my Stranger Creatures series as well as publishing some poems in different magazines and anthologies.
About the Author:
Before I had the wild idea to write a book, I worked in a few different fields. I was in sales for a while, and after I finished college, I worked as a case manager. When my children were little, I was a personal trainer and running coach. During the evenings, when I was supposed to be studying for another fitness training certification, I started writing a story. Finally, I gave in and acknowledged that writing is what I’m meant to do. I love creating imperfect but determined characters who find the courage to love and the strength to survive in a world where there are no guarantees. My stories include a fair amount of sarcasm, suspense, steam, and violence. When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time outside and finding ways to avoid cooking. I live in beautiful Virginia with my husband, two daughters, a sweet, hairy monster of a dog, and two devious cats.
The time has come to stand up, join hands, scream in voices made of fire, and refuse to relent until we have healthcare access for everyone, bodily autonomy, equal pay, more affordable childcare options, longer maternity and paternity leave times, and everything else we need that we’ve been denied.
During the day, Miranda Cahill works diligently on her doctoral thesis. At night, she has sex with strangers.
Public coupling, multiple partners, age play, spankings, bondage, lesbian lust—each salacious adventure exposes new dimensions of her depravity. Her secret life explodes when she realizes her masked partner at a kink club and the charismatic colleague courting her are in fact the same man.
Dickens scholar Mark Anderson seems like an affable, uncomplicated Midwesterner, but he has hidden depths, myriad talents, and an unlimited appetite for erotic variety. With Mark as her guide, Miranda comes to accept the intricacy of her own desires, as well as to trust her heart.
“…brings a fabulous level of intensity and sensuality to the reader.” ~ Dawnie, Fallen Angels Reviews (5 Angels)
“Sarai skillfully combines the present day storyline with some tantalizing Victorian history. This book is well researched, erudite, well plotted and very sexy. Highly recommended.” ~ Emma K., Amazon (5 stars)
“Truly a buffet of pleasures, with something for everyone. There’s the enjoyment of piecing together the mirroring, multi-layered narratives. Historical and literary echoes provide extra spice for the careful reader—in particular Shakespeare fans might enjoy the parallels to Miranda in The Tempest—all sweetened with abundant humor and clever feminist twists. Always you’ll find masterful prose in sizzling erotic scenes that offer flavors to please any palate. And last but not least, the novel will change your view of the world in surprising ways.” Donna George Story, Erotica Readers and Writers Association.
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Warrior Priest by Kate Hill is on SALE $0.99 until June 30, 2022
What happens when a warrior priest from a strict religion meets a free-spirited priestess from a new age commune?
Jade and Selena are as different as two people can be, but to facilitate an alliance between their worlds, they engage in a cultural exchange. With their galaxy in danger from a planet that wants to conquer or destroy all others, they realize the importance of their assignment, but it is difficult for a warrior priest and a nonviolent priestess to understand each other.
Selena is both attracted and appalled by his old school masculinity, and Jade is tempted to break his vow of celibacy until marriage due to his powerful desire for her. Will this unlikely pair not only find common ground, but unconditional love?
“I thought I saw my father.” Jade couldn’t believe he was confessing to her. “Back there at the waterfall. I heard him, and I saw him.”
Selena reached for his hand and squeezed it. “That’s what upset you? I dreamed about a bakery, and you dreamed about your dad.”
“I wasn’t dreaming. I didn’t fall asleep.”
Selena tilted her gaze up to his. “I’m not sure what to say. Have you ever seen a ghost before?”
“No, Selena! No, I’ve never seen a ghost, and I’m not crazy. I’m thinking that maybe this head wound is—”
“The scan was fine, Jade. Once we’re out of here, I can check again, but if the way you’re trekking through this cave is any indication, there’s nothing wrong with you physically.”
“You think I’m crazy, then?”
“No, I don’t think you’re crazy. I believe we might be able to communicate with spirits. My religion is based on a variety of beliefs that include the dead leaving imprints on the corporeal world. I also believe that sometimes ghosts aren’t about spirits reaching out from beyond, but about closure we need.”
“I never told him I loved him.” Jade’s stomached clenched. He felt more than a little embarrassed. There was no reason for him to tell her this. Still, he went on. “We didn’t talk much about feelings. Emotions are to be controlled. A lack of discipline can get you killed.”
“That’s true, I suppose. But pretending you don’t have emotions can kill you, too. Slowly. So you can’t ever be truly happy or even sad. It’s kind of like ignoring an injury. It won’t heal, or it’ll heal badly.”
Warrior Priest is on sale for $0.99 until June 30, 2022 at Smashwords and Amazon
Kate Hill is a vegetarian New Englander who started writing many years ago for pleasure.
When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, watching horror and action movies, working out, and spending time with her family and pets.
In one hundred and fifty years, Blake’s Folly, a silver boomtown notorious for its brothels, scarlet ladies, silver barons, speakeasies, and divorce ranches, has become a semi-ghost town. Although the old Mizpah Saloon is still in business, its upper floor is sheathed in dust. But in a room at a long corridor’s end, an adventurer, a beautiful dance girl, and a rejected wife were once caught in a love triangle, and their secret has touched three generations.
Lance saw the woman doubled over in the dirt road, her legs bent backward and to each side of her in what looked to be an exceedingly painful position. Had she been hit by a car? Probably not: few enough cars passed this way. She might have had an attack of some sort. He loped toward her, thinking only of rescue and alleviating pain, because that’s what a veterinarian’s job is all about, and humans happen to be animals, too.
He was less than ten feet away, when she raised her head and glared at him with fury. The look, as toxic as a poison arrow, halted him in his tracks. She certainly didn’t look as though she needed his help. She didn’t look as though she’d ever need anyone’s help.
“Um…I’m sorry. I saw you down there, in the road, and I thought…”
He saw her fury seep away, transform into visible regret. “You chased it away.”
Swinging her bent legs into a more reasonable position, she stood up without using her hands. For someone who wasn’t young, she looked to be in perfect shape. Or at least she had maintained an admirable flexibility.
He knew who she was, all right. Who else had a long bushy ponytail of silvery hair? Who else had three dogs trailing after her—three dogs now sitting calmly in the shade of the abandoned laundry and watching him, wary-eyed. They knew he was one of the vets who gave them shots every year, and that meant he was no real friend.
The woman in front of him, what was her name? Lucy something…oh yes, Lucy Barnes, and she worked in Rose Badger’s vintage clothing shop whenever Rose roared off to Reno. For the first time, he noticed the camera.
“Look, I thought you had fallen or…”
“Yes, I realize that’s what you thought.” She didn’t look as though she were about to forgive him for it either.
“You were taking a photo?”
“Oh, sorry. A ground crab spider.”
“Of a ground crab spider?”
She relented slightly. “They’re called crab spiders because they look and move like crabs.”
“Yes,” he said dryly. “I think I’ve worked that one out.”
“What for? Why were you taking a photo?”
“Because I like them. I like macro photography, I like taking photos of spiders, and this particular spider was very pretty.”
“Pretty. Got it.”
She looked annoyed again. “Veterinarians don’t consider arachnids worthy of notice?”
“Did I just tell you that?” he said a little too defensively because she was right: he never noticed them. Okay, he never killed them either, because he knew how useful they were, but that was as far as things went. “What was particularly pretty about that one? I mean spiders look like spiders to me. I never thought aesthetics came into it.”
“Really?” She even looked surprised.
“Really.” Inwardly, he sighed, regretting his attempt to maintain chatty conversation. It was always the same when you dealt with nuts, cranks, and fanatics: they couldn’t understand how normal people functioned.
“Most crab spiders are brown-beige so they can blend into their surroundings and catch prey easily. They do have splotches though, and this one had a nice leaf marking on its opisthosoma.” She smirked. “Sorry, that’s the posterior part of the body. The front part is the—”
“Prosoma,” he interrupted.
The smirk faded and, wordlessly, she stared at him.
It was his turn to be haughty. “Since you know I’m a veterinarian, you’ll probably accept that, in this century, we do go to school. And while we’re there, we manage to study a little science.”
“Sorry,” she said contritely.
“That’s all right.” He tried not to look too self-satisfied.
Writer, storyteller, photographer, and social critical artist, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with strange characters.
steal chunks of life and flesh with dirty mouths and laws
built for entrapment
The CEOs want our babies’ journeys
funneled to roads leading only to paths where
living is nothing more than surviving
and surviving means
living to serve
as wage serfs
under the boots of unforgiving capitalism
while the heels of judgment grind
into their backs
denying them a voice and a vote
The for-profit prison industry and the companies who capitalize on providing needed services to prisons and prisoners is growing in the United States at an alarming rate. It almost sounds as if there are just so many criminals, so many that the county and state prisons couldn’t keep up and that knowledgeable CEOs were able to step right in and build a bunch of jails and keep us all safe. On the surface, if we don’t want to look too hard, we could think that now we have more jails, now we are safer. A scratch in the surface leaves the truth rushing out, exposing a tragedy caused by corporate greed and systemic dishonesty.
When I was a kid, I innocently thought that people in jail were there because they made a mistake and they needed to be there as punishment and to keep society safe. My father was a prison guard, and his philosophy was that no matter what a prisoner had done, they were human beings and were to be treated with decency and dignity. I’ll never forget that concept as long as I live. I apply it to everyone to the best of my ability. What I learned as I got older was that my father’s philosophy was his personal choice. He was choosing to be a decent human being and to never abuse the power and authority he was given. But when power and authority are given in great measure, the potential for abuse of that power both via the individual and the system granting that power is vast. My father chose to be decent. Others working in positions of power and authority do not make that decision and are rarely held accountable. Mix in some corporate greed from the for-profit prison industry with some kickbacks to the system and add in public fear of rampant crime, and there is the perfect recipe for the profiling, abuse, and incarceration of innocent people. It’s a numbers game, and the game is rigged.
Teens are often discriminated against and taken advantage of when it comes being stopped or detained. Research increasingly shows that they are much more likely to be pressured into taking plea deals even when innocent.
People without financial means to hire a quality lawyer have been forced into the legal system with frightening regularity for decades. Further, people with disabilities are often at increased risk for enduring harm during encounters. That absolutely must change.
The system that steals lives due to greed, ignorance, and bad policy has been given immunity for far too long, and now it must take a look at itself, address the harms it has done, and be forced remake itself from the ground up.
Protests are often popular amongst people who are trying to make a positive change in the world. The articles below discuss tips on how to stay safe during a protest as well as listing other useful resources.
Blurb: Tamsyn McKiernan thinks her dreams have come true. She’s engaged to a dashing Key West bachelor and finally in her widowed father’s good graces. But in her heart, she knows something’s wrong. She loves the ocean and the quiet pleasures of nature—so what does the aristocratic life she’ll lead truly hold for her?
Mercenary captain Drake Ashton is neck deep in preparations for the Spanish-American War, running guns and other supplies to Cuban natives who want out from under their Spanish masters. He and his brother Freddie risk their lives daily, focused on saving his friends on the island. Nothing else matters but his mission.
A chance encounter with a spiny sea urchin brings the two together, and neither of their lives will ever be the same again.
The wine would go straight to her head soon, she knew from previous, infrequent consumption, so she must sip it slowly. One of them had to keep their wits.
She felt the curious eyes of the crew, some shy, others bolder in their observation. Tamsyn smiled at them all. One broad, bullish man came forward with a blanket, which he spread on the deck. Drake clapped the man on the shoulder.
“Good thinking, Chaney. A picnic it will be!” He gestured to Tamsyn that she should seat herself, which she did without hesitation.
Within a few minutes, trays of food came up from belowdecks, chicken spit broiled with crispy skins, fruits and cheeses, Bahamian bread with a thick slab of butter. The men vied for the opportunity to serve her until Drake finally dismissed them with a laugh.
“Cook has enough for all below. Go take your supper. We may have some business awaiting us yet tonight.”
The men cheered and noisily went down to eat. The skinny cabin boy remained to serve his captain. Drake saw that the boy got a plate of food, then sent him away. “A few moments alone,” he whispered conspiratorially.
“Just a few,” she said with a sad smile. “Then I must—”
Drake held up a finger, silencing her. “Not a word of that now.”
Tamsyn started to argue, then realized he would just cut her off again. It was right. What might happen in a minute, in an hour, would not be changed if she took the time to immerse herself in the joy and comfort of this time with Drake.
The food smelled so good in the fresh night air, and Drake urged her to taste everything, from sweet melons to spicy chicken. It was simple fare, but it satisfied her more than any of the expensive delicacies that had been served at the Pickhams’ buffet. Surely it is the company which has improved my appetite. Drake’s dark eyes danced in the moonlight, and he often turned to her with a smile, perhaps wanting to say something but reluctant to break the spell they seemed to be under.
But not yet, Mamma, not yet…Can you see me, Mamma? Tamsyn wondered silently. Can you see how happy I am?
He said, “An old Cuban woman taught me one evening as we sat around a fire at a rebel camp, drums beating in the distance, smoke in the air. She leaned close to me and took my hand, just as I’m holding yours now, and told me my future, showing me how the lines of my palm intersected and moved apart.” He examined her face, more serious. “I never believed a word until now.”
Tamsyn was thoroughly intrigued, her curious streak in high gear. “What did she say?”
“She told me a time would come when a young woman would rescue me. That woman, she said, would be…” He stared at her, intently watching her face.
His deep gaze hypnotized her. She could almost smell the camp smoke, so taken was she. “Would be what?”
“Would be—” He shook his head. “It’s not important. Something about love.”
Tamsyn pulled her hand back sharply. “I’m sure it had nothing to do with me, then.” She turned and walked away in the direction of her carriage. But she lost one of her sandals in a sudden rush of water and stepped hard onto white coral rock. “Ow!”
“Allow me,” he said behind her. Before she could argue, he scooped her up in his arms. As she protested, he replied, “I told you I was in your debt. Please permit me to repay you.” Ashton’s boots easily traversed the rocks, his arms strong around her. He smelled of salt water and the ocean breeze, and she felt gentleness within him as he carried her.
It would be better if Drake was happy for Tamsyn’s good fortune. She’d not want for anything material as the wife of Winslow—no doubt, a beautiful house and gardens, a fine carriage, a husband whose future was financially secure.
His own fortunes lay along a much different path.
If Drake were to be caught by the Spaniards, it wasn’t likely he’d live to be tried for the crime back on the mainland. The Spanish were known for their quick tempers and sharp swords. The mercenary trade paid him well, for now, and if the buzzing rumors he’d heard on the Pickham veranda were true, war would come within the year. Guns were a prime commodity in time of war. He always carried rum when he returned from the islands, of course, and sugar and tropical fruits, to cover his real motives. He had not been interdicted yet. As young men often did, he played the odds and planned to beat them.
For the first time, however, that focus was shaken by thoughts of this woman.
What distinguished Tamsyn MacKiernan from the other women he’d met in a hundred different ports? Drake couldn’t put his finger on it. He just knew she appealed to his heart in a way that possessed him. She held an intriguing blend of strength and vulnerability, stomach ironclad in the face of blood yet timid as a lost waif left alone in the midst of the ball. He wanted to know her better.
But she was to be married. Even if he had been able to marry her, even though he had a proper home with a hired woman to maintain it, it was nothing compared with the empire Winslow would command in a few years. Drake knew he had no business thinking Tamsyn might prefer a lonely pirate to the golden boy.
Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, the aging hippie loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter on the autism spectrum, who is the youngest of her seven children, and she is ruled by three crotchety old cats, and six kittens of various ages.